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Unredacted docs show hiring collusion between tech giants Apple, Google, and Intel

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Unredacted docs show hiring collusion between tech giants Apple, Google, and Intel
Last week, heavily redacted documents were released regarding an antitrust lawsuit that the US Department of Justice had brought and settled against Googe, Apple, Adobe, Intel and other companies back in 2010. Even in the heavily redacted documents, evidence was seen that the companies had been engaged in collusion. Essentially, the companies all had informal agreements to not hire or "poach" each others' employees. 

Today, the unredacted version of those documents have come out, and they include some very interesting details of the events, which go all the way back to 2005. Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that he had a "handshake no recruit" agreement with Google's Eric Schmidt, and Intel had a written "no poach" agreement with Pixar. 

One of the more interesting stories is that at one point, Steve Jobs found out about Google trying to hire an engineer, and e-mailed Eric Schmidt asking that Google "please stop doing this." Schmidt apparently forwarded on the e-mail looking for answers about what was happening and referenced a "policy of no recruitment from Apple". It turned out that a Google employee had contacted an Apple employee without consent and was fired for doing so. 

Quite obviously there has been no such agreement between Google and Facebook, since the two companies have been trading employees quite a bit recently. It's interesting to hear about the self-implemented policies to avoid talent stealing, and even though the DoJ supposedly put an end to this, we certainly haven't heard of any of these companies hiring current employees, just a couple former employees here and there. 

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posted on 28 Jan 2012, 02:29 1

1. drahmad (Posts: 480; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


thats very smurfy

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 07:13 2

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5955; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Don't expect the no solicitation policy to magically end and a free-for-all hiring spree to ensue. To start with, the employment market is for sh*t, and qualified talent can be hired from other sources. Further, almost all of the companies involved have tech centers in India, where U.S. law (for the most part) doesn't apply.

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 07:26

3. dsDoan (Posts: 223; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


It's illegal for companies to agree to not take employees from one another?

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 07:35 1

4. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5955; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


@dsDoan - restraint of trade. If Company A was working with Company B on a specific project, they could have a no hire agreement regarding employees involved with the project, but not an across-the-board no hire agreement.

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 09:55 3

5. xtremesv (Posts: 238; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


That's unfair. Free trade and competition must be guaranteed for employees. The article said "talent stealing" far from it, the individual is looking for his/her better future and willingly decide for the b est offer. The objective of these pacts are to keep the wages low and their profits in the sky.

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 12:04

6. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5955; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Well, Steve would certainly consider a Google manager who was recruiting one of Apple's engineers to be 'stealing'. And vice-versa. People think feudalism ended? Not really.

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